Management of Antimicrobial Agents in Abdominal Organ Transplant Patients in Intensive Care Unit

Aaron Kaviani, Dilek Ince, David A. Axelrod

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Early diagnosis of infections and immediate initiation of appropriate antimicrobials are crucial in the management of patients before and after organ transplantation. We reviewed the most recent literature and guidelines in this field and organized the current recommendations for healthcare professionals caring for critically ill organ transplant recipients. Recent Findings: The incidence of multidrug-resistant organisms is increasing. Multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria comprise about 14% of organisms. Vancomycin-resistant enterococci bloodstream infections are also on the rise, as 20.5% of nosocomial enterococci are now vancomycin-resistant, changing empiric antibiotic selection. Fluconazole-resistant Candida species comprise up to 46% of cases of candidemia in hospitalized patients. Consequently, new guidelines recommend primary use of echinocandins in patients with candidemia who have moderate-to-severe disease. Finally, the incidence of emergence of ganciclovir-resistant cytomegalovirus infection in patients is 5–12%, requiring early recognition and change to alternative regimens in the case of poor response to therapy. Summary: Bloodstream infections are a major cause of mortality and morbidity in solid organ transplantation. Mortality as high as 24% and 50% have been reported with sepsis and septic shock respectively. As such, bloodstream infections should be diagnosed rapidly and intravenous antibiotics should be started immediately. Appropriate resuscitation should be initiated and the number and/or dose of immunosuppressive drugs should be reduced. Proper source control must also be achieved with radiologic drainage or surgical intervention as appropriate. Initial antibiotic treatment of these patients should cover both Gram-positive organisms, especially in the presence of intravascular catheters, and Gram-negative bacteria. Echinocandins like caspofungin should also be considered especially in critically ill patients, particularly if a patient has been on total parenteral nutrition or broad-spectrum antibiotics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCurrent Transplantation Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • Antibacterial agents
  • Critical care
  • Infection
  • Intensive care units
  • Transplantation
  • Transplants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Immunology
  • Hepatology
  • Nephrology
  • Transplantation


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